Club Profile- Reading Powerchair

Many wheelchair users never have the opportunity to play a team sport. Through no fault of their own they can miss out on the many joys and life lessons that can be obtained through these sporting activities and the opportunities it can create in developing lifelong friendships, building self-confidence, their communication skills and chance to work alongside others as part of a team.

It allows a sense of belonging to a community.  Sadly many powerchair wheelchair users miss out on this important aspect of human development, which for many of us has shaped our identity and provided us with the tools to be successful in life.

Powerchair football is played by the physically disabled in electrically powered wheelchairs that have been specifically adapted to handle the demands of playing a fast and skilful game that to a great extent mirrors all the aspects of normal football.  The game is played indoors, with teams comprising of 4 players (3 outfield and a goal keeper).  They use a slighter larger football that is hit by a bumper which has been fixed to the front of the wheelchair.  It is a non-contact sport (as safety is paramount) but still allows the individual to show off their dribbling, passing and scoring skills, and at the same time enjoying the delights of being part of a team environment that their disability might otherwise prevent them from experiencing.

Reading Powerchair FC is a competitive but very friendly powerchair football Club currently comprising of nine players (both sexes, ages 14 – 30), who compete in the South East Regional League that is organised on behalf of the Wheelchair Football Association.

Powerchair football has teams based all over the Country and you can also play in National Leagues and (if your team is good enough) against the best teams in Europe.  There is even a World Cup; which this year is taking place in Florida USA during July.

Reading Powerchair FC was started in 2010 by Lee & Laura Ison to promote powerchair football in the Reading area and to provide an avenue for their son to play football (a sport he loved) and for others to experience the things I described above.  So far, he is the only player from the Reading area, the rest of us travel from all over, reflecting the passion and pride we all share in our Club and our desire to make it a success.

Over the years we have welcomed many new faces into the Club and we are always looking for new players.  We hold an annual summer tournament at the Rivermead Leisure Centre, which is a great way to come along and see what the sport is about and to meet lots of people.  This year, it is being held on the 25th June between 10.00am and 4.00pm.  We train on alternative Sundays at the Lodden Valley Leisure Centre.

So, if you know of anyone that uses a powered wheelchair and loves football, tell them about Reading PFC or look us up on Facebook or on our website.  We are also looking for sponsors, so if you want to get involved in supporting a great team or just want to try the sport please give us a call.

There are disability football sessions happening all across Berks & Bucks. If you are inspired and want to get involved in disability football then please contact Disability Football Development Officer Jonathan Coles by email: jonathan.coles@berks-bucksfa.com or call 01235 558451 to find out more about what’s going on in your local area.